The music of Brasstracks is a triumph of contrast, merging retro aesthetics with inventive production, spontaneity with sophisticated musicianship, homespun intimacy with big-band maximalism. Since forming in 2014, trumpeter Ivan Jackson and drummer Conor Rayne have brought their free-flowing musicality to such endeavors as producing Chance the Rapper’s 2016 hit “No Problem” ft. Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz—an effort that earned a GRAMMY® Award for Best Rap Performance. Also known for their frequent collaborations with Mark Ronson, the New York City-based duo are now at work on their full-length debut, an album that showcases their originality with greater impact than ever before.

“I feel like our music is unique in that it inspires a lot of dancing but also an element of critical listening,” says Jackson. “We just want to create something of substance, and bring all that groovy, soulful stuff that we love so much into this modern era of making music.”

Both producers and lifelong musicians, Jackson and Rayne met while studying jazz at the Manhattan School of Music and immediately bonded over their shared sensibilities, as well as a mutual aversion to conservatory life. “We were each a little rebellious against the jazz-school mentality and the idea that you shouldn’t play any music that’s not strictly jazz,” says Jackson (who plays guitar, bass, and keys, in addition to trumpet). “Music is supposed to make you feel free, and we didn’t want to be limited in any way.”

Working at Jackson’s studio in Williamsburg, the two soon started writing together and, in early 2014, posted one of their first collaborations to SoundCloud. Despite a lack of promotion on their part, the track quickly took on a life of its own. “The whole thing really started as an experiment,” says Rayne. “We were just working on songs and putting them out, and people ended up digging what we were doing. We decided to take that and run with it, while keeping everything as creative as possible.”

Within the next few years, Brasstracks collaborated with artists like Anderson .Paak, GoldLink, Khalid and Wyclef Jean, performed on “Saturday Night Live” alongside Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus, and put out critically praised projects like their 2016 debut EP Good Love and 2018’s For Those Who Know. Proving the power of their DIY ethos, the duo also completed eight tours and took the stage at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre four times before landing their deal with EQT/Capitol Records.

In early 2019, Brasstracks began the process of bringing their debut album to life, purposely reinforcing their free-thinking approach to songcraft. To that end, their new single “Professional” ft. Kyle Dion blends silky horns, jangly guitars, and hypnotic grooves into an R&B anthem that’s both of-the-moment and fantastically timeless. And as they continued working on their first full-length, Brasstracks took time out for the recording of Before We Go: Live From Capitol Studios—a six-track EP featuring a dazzling lineup of guest musicians performing live renditions of their early-2019 release of the same name. With its feel-good energy, the EP ultimately spotlights the joyful camaraderie and kinetic creativity that makes Brasstracks’ music so unforgettable.

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